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Cardinals can’t overcome Royals early surge, drop I-70 opener

St. Louis Cardinals v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

It was a tough night for the Birds. Although the Cardinals made it interesting late, they couldn’t overcome the Royals early surge against Adam Wainwright and dropped the I-70 series opener.

Wainwright barely made it into the second inning and left without recording an out and having already surrendered eight runs. After the Cards fell behind 9-0, Willson Contreras drove in three with a double in the third and Tyler O’Neill hit a bomb in the fifth to make it 9-5.

The Cardinals even came to within 9-6 before Andre Pallante allowed three runs in two innings of work. Contreras hit a two-run shot in the ninth to make it 12-8, but that was all St. Louis could muster. Let’s break this one down.

Waino struggles again

It really is painful to watch Adam Wainwright struggle like this. I want him to get to 200 wins so badly and to finish his career on a positive note, but I’m afraid it’s not going to happen. He struggled again tonight and only made it through one inning. He fell to 3-7 on the year as his ERA jumped to an abysmal 8.78.

I know some fans are going to be frustrated about the way he’s pitched. I get that. It is frustrating. But I’m more frustrated for him than with him. We all know that man wants to win and his working his tail off to be the best he can be. But as painful as it is to admit it, he just doesn’t have it anymore.

What makes it even more depressing is seeing the look of defeat on his face. Waino has always been the eternal optimist, but now, you can see the sadness in his eyes. We’ve never seen him this low, and it’s heartbreaking knowing that he has to go through this.

I’m not sure if he’s hurt, but the Cardinals can’t afford to keep him in the rotation and have him continue to get humiliated like this.

Thompson cleans up the mess

On a positive note, Zack Thompson was the MVP of this game for the Cardinals. He gave them four-plus innings of one-run ball and even kept the Cardinals in the game when they started to chip away. All he allowed was a home run to Salvador Perez.

This is really encouraging, and after seeing him pitch so well on Sunday, I’m all for giving Thompson some chances to start. I’m of the opinion that it’s probably time to move Waino to the bullpen, but if that’s what the Cardinals decide to do, then Thompson needs to be the one to take the rotation spot.

The young lefty also struck out five batters and didn’t walk anybody. I was really impressed by the way he cleaned up the mess and helped the Cardinals stay in the game.

The Cards will turn to Steven Matz to try and right the ship tomorrow. First pitch is at 6:10 and I’ll be here to provide the recap.